Sarah Gadon to star in Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood's joint CBC-Netflix miniseries

The Toronto-born actress will play the character of Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant and maid who was convicted of a double murder in 1843.

Canadian actress to play the character of Grace Marks in screen adaptation of Giller Prize-winning novel

Toronto-born actress Sarah Gadon will take on the lead role in the screen adaptation of Margaret Atwood's historical drama, Alias Grace. (Lennart Preiss/Getty Images)

Toronto-born actress Sarah Gadon has been cast in the lead role of the upcoming CBC and Netflix miniseries, Alias Grace, based on author Margaret Atwood's 1996 historical true crime novel.

The six-hour miniseries centres around Gadon's character, Grace Marks — an Irish immigrant and maid who was convicted, along with stable hand James McDermott, of a double murder in 1843.

McDermott was hanged, while Marks was sentenced to life in prison, but exonerated after 30 years. Her conviction drummed up much debate about whether she actually committed the crimes or was an accessory to the brutal killings.

CBC and Netflix will adapt Margaret Atwood's 1996 novel, Alias Grace, for the small screen, with production to start in August 2016. (McClelland & Stewart)
Gadon is the latest high profile Canadian talent to sign on to the screen adaptation of Atwood's crime drama, joining director Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol) and writer/producer Sarah Polley (Take this Waltz, Away from Her).

Her participation comes on the heels of acting in another TV miniseries based on a book — Stephen King's time travel thriller 11.22.63 — where she played a Texan librarian opposite James Franco, whose character goes back in time to try and prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The eight episode series, executive produced by J.J. Abrams and partly shot in Guelph, Ontario, became available on the US streaming service Hulu in February and was generally well-received.

The 29-year-old actress is well known for her work on feature films directed by Canadian David Cronenberg, including A Dangerous Method, Cosmopolis, and Maps to the Stars

Alias Grace is scheduled to begin filming in Ontario on August 15, 2016. It will be broadcast in Canada on CBC and stream globally on Netflix.